Call centers are critical to many different types of businesses. Public utilities, credit card companies, banks and any other business that has customers calling them will generally operate a call center. Call centers are large open areas filled with customer service agents taking calls from customers and assisting them with their billing, ordering and account issues.
Call centers require large investments of capital. Call centers require cash for salaries, work station equipment, technology and communication equipment and office space. Call centers are often located in low rent areas of town since customers rarely visit call center locations. Call centers require large open spaces and expansive floor space. Converted warehouses and large open office buildings are well suited for call center space. The average rent per square foot nation wide is $11.00 per square foot, per Office Space Rent (http://www.office--space.com/index.htm). The amount of space needed for a call center depends on the number of customer service representatives that will be required. Customer service agents are seated in cubicles. The average cubicle requires 6 square feet of floor space. The aisle way between the cubicles adds approximately 4 more square feet to the required space. That is an average of 10 square feet per representative. The rent per representative will be approximately $110 per month, per representative. A call center with 50 agents will require approximately 5000 square feet plus an additional 1500 square feet for administrative and management staff. The 6500 square foot office space will cost approximately $71,000 per month or $852,000 per year.
Salary and Benefits
The average salary for a call center representative is $28,000 per year, according to Indeed.com. This data is current as of 2009. If your call center will require 50 representatives then the annual cost of agent salaries will be approximately 1.4 million dollars. The average cost of health benefits, per agent, is $7,523 per year. A call center with fifty agents would cost approximately $377,000 per year. Call centers generally employs one director and one manager for every 15 agents. This would require 3 managers, one director and one administrative manager. The average salary of a call center manager is $57,000 and a call center director is $75,000, according to Indeed.com. The management salary cost would be $303,000 per year and an additional 38,000 for manager health benefits. This brings the total annual salary cost to 1.75 million dollars per year. The toil annual cost of benefit would run approximately $414,000.
Equipment and Totals
Each representative and manager will require a cubicle, phone, computer work station and filing cabinet. The average cost to outfit each representative with all of the required equipment and furniture will cost between $3,000 and $4,500. The average being $3,750. The cost to outfit 55 employees would cost 206,250. The total first years cost to open and operate a call center would be approximately $3,250,000. The equipment cost would be required up front and the company should have six months of the other expenses covered prior to opening. If you calculate an additional $5,000 per month for utilities and incidentals, the startup requirement would be 1.6 million dollars.
Michael Owens is a corporate recruiter and business owner in Houston, TX. He joined Demand Studios in 2009, writing for eHow Money and eHow Business & Personal Finance. Michael has a master's certificate in accounting from Keller Graduate School of Management.